NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After one other 12 months of hybrid learning, 4 new Bahamas Environmental Steward Scholars (BESS) are ready for in-person experiential learning through the BESS programme.
Applicants from New Windfall, Eleuthera, and Grand Bahama competed for coveted seats on this gap 12 months programme offered by the Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) and The Island School.
Scholars for the 2022-2023 BESS Programme are Asia Butler from Harbour Island All Age School, Taye Fountain from Lucayan International School, Darielle Bullard from Bishop Michael Eldon School, and Gayle Burrows from Queen’s College. Each scholar will spend a life-changing semester at The Island School at Cape Eleuthera, along with a four-month paid internship at BREEF.
Recognizing the growing need to resolve problems in a rapidly changing world, BREEF and The Island School mentor these independent students through solutions-based learning and scientific research internships. Upon completion of the programme each scholar leaves well equipped to steer The Bahamas right into a more sustainable future.
Asia Butler has shown exceptional leadership because the president of the Bahamas Plastic Movement Ocean Ambassador’s Club in addition to inspiring her community along with her backyard gardening.
Butler said: “Through the pandemic Bahamians were struck with fear over possible food shortages which might be prevented by encouraging agricultural jobs and making agriculture a vital a part of our education system, thus increasing food security and bringing us one step closer to a plastic-free community.”
Taye Fountain is a Maritime Cadet also involved with Save the Bays and Waterkeepers Bahamas.
Fountain said: “I’m an avid swimmer, spear fisherman, boater, and scuba diver. I feel I can take much of what I actually have learned from my environmental education and implement it to tell others of how by which the economy and country can develop without damaging our surroundings”
Darielle Bullard is a Save the Bays and Waterkeepers Cadet and in addition within the Maritime Cadet Corps. She gives back to her community through Anchor Club and Interact and loves diving with sharks.
“My passion is nature and marine life,” Bullard said.
“I wish to help clean up the beach with my friends and visit Owl Hole. I plan to major in marine biology, and BESS will show me methods to make a difference within the Bahamas and have a good time while I accomplish my goals.”
Gayle Burrows participates in Green Team Eco Club, Aquaponics, and the Model UN. She realizes the approaching doom of warming oceans and climate change and has worked with youth to shape their future.
“I actually have at all times desired to contribute to my home, The Bahamas, by preparing children in younger generations to see that they should deal with and preserve the environment since it’s our home,” Burrows said.
Since 2008, 55 young Bahamians have benefitted from this exceptional educational experience, with most scholars happening to pursue related tertiary studies or being currently employed within the environmental field.
The BESS Programme is a collaboration between BREEF and The Island School with over $160,000 provided in scholarships from The Island School to make the programme possible.